Rob Gronkowski says 'there could be a scenario' he keeps playing if Tom Brady retires

·2 min read

Rob Gronkowski came out of retirement to reunite on the field with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniforms. That doesn't mean he's committing to staying in step with his longtime quarterback.

Gronkowski told reporters Monday following the Buccaneers' 30-27 NFC divisional-round loss to the Los Angeles Rams that he could see a scenario in which Brady retired, but he decided to keep playing.

"There could be a scenario like that," Gronkowski told reporters, via 95.3 WDAE in St. Petersburg. "I will never throw anything off the board because you never know how anything is going to play out. It's the NFL. It's one of the craziest businesses out there. You see organizations just totally flip year in and year out sometimes.

Rob Gronkowski
Rob Gronkowski might keep playing even if Tom Brady retires. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

"I'm just going to really basically do what is basically best for myself in terms of the football world. It's basically going to be a decision upon where I'm at in a couple weeks."

Gronkowski had high praise for the closeness of the locker room and explained the next steps in deciding his future. He said he'll take time off to recover, let his body heal and clear his mind in a process that could take 3-5 weeks. That doesn't mean he would announce any decision in that time frame.

The five-time Pro Bowl tight end initially called it quits in March 2019, citing in part injuries sustained throughout his career. He added to them early this season with multiple rib fractures and a punctured lung.

Gronkowski ended his first NFL retirement to join Brady, who has delivered nearly every one of his career catches, in Tampa Bay ahead of the 2020 season. A year later they were Super Bowl champions together again, adding to their success with the New England Patriots. It was the fourth title for Gronkowski, 32, and seventh for Brady, 44.

Brady said after Sunday's loss he had not thought much about the retirement question yet. He also said he would take time off after the season to think and talk it over with family.

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